|January 15, 2018
McGowan Government turns back on south of river communities
The decision by the McGowan Government to not accept $1.2 billion from the Commonwealth Government for the Perth Freight Link shows a lack of commitment to jobs and road safety for south of the river communities.
Leader of the Opposition, Mike Nahan said the continued resistance to the project showed the Government was more interested in appeasing green groups than ensuring families could travel to work and pick their kids up from school free of the threat from heavy trucks on South Street and Leach Highway.
“There is no doubt this project would create thousands of WA jobs. To not build it exposes the rank hypocrisy at the heart of the McGowan Government’s jobs mantra,” Dr Nahan said.
“The Roe 9 tender came in $550 million under budget providing the McGowan Government with the option of redesigning the road to avoid the most controversial parts of the project.
“The reality is the Perth Freight Link is rated as the most important project in the whole of Australia by the independent Infrastructure Australia, which is why the Commonwealth Government committed to funding the project in its 2017/18 Budget.
“The Freight Link has numerous benefits including improved productivity, reducing costs for freight transport and create thousands of jobs.”
Unemployment in Western Australia has increased since the election of the McGowan Government.
Dr Nahan said it was completely nonsensical for the Government to block a $1.2 billion injection to the WA economy right at a time of declining investment in the state.
“Local families are horrified to see the McGowan Government bowing to a minority of protestors at the expense of local communities who use the road network,” Dr Nahan said.
“We know the community is behind this project because they, unlike the government, understand the practical benefits of separating heavy freight from local traffic.
“The bottom line is this decision means less jobs, and communities south of the river being exposed to a greater risk of road fatalities and traffic congestion for years to come.
“The Government needs to explain to families through the south metropolitan suburbs what its solution is to reduce heavy vehicle traffic in their community.”